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Yet another title shot for Juliane Schenk

Two months ago, Juliane Schenk was within sight of her dream of winning her maiden OSIM BWF World Superseries title when she led Li Xuerui by a game in the Yonex-Sunrise India Open final but was eventually denied.

The German had to be content with the runner-up spot, as she had in several earlier tournaments, and leaving Tine Baun's 2010 All-England victory as the last time an European had won a World Superseries women's singles title.

On Sunday in Singapore, Schenk (pictured right) will have yet another chance to contest in a World Superseries final – the Li Ning Singapore Open 2012. This time, it will be Chinese Taipei’s Cheng Shao Chieh who will attempt to thwart the German armywoman’s moment of glory.

Schenk was taken the distance on Saturday by the third-seeded Sung Ji Hyun in their semifinal. The Korean had an even record going into the match at three wins in six encounters, and matched Schenk for much of the match before the German powered past her in the third.

Schenk had it relatively easy in the first game, but the second turned out to be a neck-and-neck affair with neither gaining the decisive advantage. Eventually, Sung Ji Hyun nosed ahead at 19-17, but Schenk took three points in a row and had match point. The Korean refused to buckle and in turn won the next three points to take the match to a decider, which was Schenk’s all the way.

She will meet Cheng Shao Chieh, who won an odd contest against local hope Xing Aiying, 23-21 21-7. The Singaporean staged a wonderful comeback from 16-19, and held two game points, but once Cheng saved both and won the first game, her challenge folded in the second.

It was in fact a good day for Chinese Taipei, as they entered two other finals as well. In the mixed, Chen Hung Ling / Cheng Wen Hsing overcame MalaysiansChan Peng Soon / Liu Ying Goh 21-16 21-13 in half-an-hour. They will be up against fourth seeds Shintaro Ikeda / Reiko Shiota who scored an equally easy win over compatriots Shoji Sato / Shizuka Matsuo.

Cheng Wen Hsing later teamed up with Chien Yu Chin to beat Indonesians Greysia Polii / Meiliana Jauhari (pictured left) in a close contest in the women’s doubles. Facing them in the final will be China’s Bao Yixin / Zhong Qianxin, who weren’t troubled by the Japanese pair of Miyuki Maeda / Satoko Suetsuna in the other semifinal.

Perhaps the most awaited match of the day was the semifinal between two former World Junior Champions, Wang Zhengming and Viktor Axelsen. The Dane was looking in tremendous form as he ousted Sony Dwi Kuncoro in the quarterfinals, but on Saturday, Zhengming proved more than a match for him. He outplayed Axelsen in all departments of the game to record a comfortable 21-13 21-14 victory, which took just 40 minutes.

Zhengming’s opponent in the final will be the Thai veteran Boonsak Ponsana (pictured right), who won a long and tight contest against Vietnam’s Nguyen Tien Minh. Nguyen, down by a game and 9-14, managed to extend the contest to the third game, where he pushed Ponsana all the way before falling 21-19 and granting Ponsana his fourth Singapore Open final appearance.

The men’s doubles will see former World Champions Markis Kido / Hendra Setiawan take on second-seeded Koreans Ko Sung Hyun / Yoo Yeon Seong.

Results of the semifinals of the 2012 Li Ning Singapore Open can be found here.

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